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Ottawa LRT expected to restart with partial service in first 2 weeks of November

Ottawa's light-rail line could be back up and running within the first two weeks of November. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Ottawa’s light-rail transit system will be offline at least for the remainder of October, with the city manager saying partial service could resume in the first two weeks of November.

Steve Kanellakos sent a memo to city council on Monday outlining the proposed return-to-service plan for the Confederation Line LRT, which has remained out of service since it derailed on Sept. 19.

Rideau Transit Group, the consortium that built and now maintains the LRT line, told the city it plans to resume with partial service (up to seven trains plus a spare) by Nov. 1.

But Kanellakos said that even if RTG meets that deadline, the city will need to go through a series of approval processes before it signs off on restarting service.

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“Based on the steps necessary to verify the safety of the system, the city anticipates that partial service will resume within the first two weeks of November,” he wrote.

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The city hired Philadelphia-based rail consultant TRA Inc. earlier this month to give an outside perspective on RTG’s return-to-service plan. The firm will need to sign off on the proposal before the city puts trains back on the tracks.

Kanellakos added in his memo that the city will run one to two days of testing on the track as well before welcoming passengers back to the system.

A date for a return to full service is expected by the end of the week.

Both TRA and RTG are scheduled to appear at Ottawa’s transit commission meeting on Wednesday to answer questions from councillors and commissioners.

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